Global marketers will almost double their ad spending within the Facebook social network this year, according to a new forecast from eMarketer.
The marketing research firm predicts that advertisers worldwide will spend $1.28 billion on ads to reach Facebook’s more than 500 million users in 2010, a 93% increase from the $665 million they spent to do the same in 2009.
For 2011 eMarketer forecasting says advertisers will spend $1.76 billion in Facebook ads. That will constitute a 165% jump over 2009 spending in the network.
By contrast, eMarketer foresees a 14% annual drop in 2011 spending on ads in rival social net MySpace, down to $297 million next year from a projected$347 million this year.
One main reason for the strength of Facebook’s in-network sales is a self-service ad system that automates the process of creating, buying and placing the small display ads that appear on the right rail of users’ profile pages. EMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson estimates that these ads may account for as much as half of the social network’s total ad revenue.
“Brand advertisers are making Facebook a core buy,” Williamson said in a release accompanying the forecast. “Ad spending is building quickly, and the mass audience is one that marketers cannot ignore any longer.”
For example, U.S. ad spending on Facebook ads should reach $835 million this year. That’s very close to eMarketer’s forecast of $890 million in net U.S. ad revenues for the long-establishing AOL family of Web properties.